I get a lot of phone calls from people recently hurt in accidents because their medical bills begin piling up. It can be a worrisome situation. Dylan Buchholdt, an attorney at Pentlarge Law Group, has prepared this blog to address these issues for you.
James B. Pentlarge
“MEDICAL BILLS” BLOG
By: Dylan Buchholdt
If you are physically injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver then more likely than not you start to incur medical expenses. Depending upon how badly you are hurt, you may face ambulance charges, hospital emergency room charges, and follow-up medical expenses within hours of the car crash. Unless you have been involved in a prior motor vehicle accident, you will likely wonder how the medical bills will be paid, particularly if the other driver is at fault for causing the car crash and your injuries.
Most people want the at fault drivers insurance to immediately begin paying their medical bills as they incur them. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Ultimately the at fault drivers automobile insurance will have to pay your medical bills. However, they only have to pay them at the time the case is finally settled or at the time they are made to pay by a jury verdict at trial. Because the at fault drivers insurance is not your insurance, the at fault drivers insurance usually refuses to pay your medical bills while you incur them. They prefer to wait until settlement or a trial, perhaps in the hopes of forcing you into a early settlement at the prospect of mounting medical bills.
If you have medical payment coverage as part of your personal motor vehicle insurance (or if you are riding as a passenger in a car that has medical payment coverage) then your own insurance company will likely be first in line to pay your medical expenses relating to the motor vehicle accident – up to the limits of your coverage. For example, if your car insurance contract provides for $5,000.00 in medical payment coverage then the first $5,000.00 of your medical expenses will be paid for by your insurance company subject to your insurance company verifying that the medical expenses are reasonable, necessary, and arising from your car crash. Should your medical expenses exceed the amount of medical payment coverage available, then you will need to make other arrangements with your medical providers to make sure that their services are paid for. This may involve having your employee health insurance plan pay the bills subject to your agreement to reimburse the plan out of any potential settlement or jury award. If you do not have health insurance then you may have to make other arrangements (e.g. signing a medical lien or paying out of pocket).
Although you might feel strongly that this process does not make sense, this is the normal process. Ultimately, your medical expenses are a component of your damages that you can pursue with the other driver’s insurance company. With Pentlarge Law Group’s help you can fight to ensure that all of your medical expenses are paid by the other driver’s insurance company. We help injured Alaskans.